World News

Middle East
3:13 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Hagel's Indonesia Trip Consumed By Thoughts On Syria

The Syria government says it will allow U.N. weapons inspectors to access the site of an apparent chemical weapons attack outside Damascus. Last week's attack left hundreds of civilians dead, and could lead to a military response by the U.S. and other western nations. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is on a planned trip to Indonesia.

Middle East
3:03 am
Mon August 26, 2013

What Are The U.S. Options Regarding Syria?

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 3:33 am

When it comes to action in Syria, the U.S. has moved from will it — to what will it do? Analyst Aaron David Miller, a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, tells Renee Montagne that it is "almost inevitable that the president will authorize some form of military action" in Syria after last week's alleged chemical attack against civilians.

Parallels
1:45 am
Mon August 26, 2013

For Pakistan And Afghanistan, Soccer As Reconciliation

Afghanistan and Pakistan, countries that have a history of tense relations, played their first soccer match in nearly 40 years when they met Aug. 20 in Kabul. Afghanistan (in red) won 3-0.
Omar Sobhani Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 3:03 am

Afghanistan and Pakistan are better known for their verbal fights and occasional border clashes, but for the first time since 1976, they battled on a soccer field in Kabul.

Some 6,000 rabid Afghan fans cheered on their team, clad in red uniforms. There were horns, flags, and face paint. It looked like any soccer game in the world, except for all the riot police, snipers, and Blackhawk helicopters passing overhead periodically.

Ahmad Mirwais, a 27-year-old tailor, was one of those lucky enough to score a ticket.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:53 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Pain, Loss And Tears Come With Medal Of Honor

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ty Michael Carter near Dahla Dam, Afghanistan in July 2012.
Ho/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 2:04 pm

Update at 3:14 p.m. ET. Carter Receives Medal Of Honor:

Saying he represented "the essence of true heroism," President Obama presented Army Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter with the nation's highest military honors, this afternoon.

"As these soldiers and families will tell you, they're a family forged in battle, and loss, and love," Obama said, according to the AP.

Our Original Post Continues:

The Army staff sergeant who Monday afternoon will receive the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony has mixed emotions.

Read more
Middle East
3:08 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

World Reacts To Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Coming up, a look at the minority Christian population in the Middle East. But first, this week, video out of Syria showed shocking images of civilians, many of them women and children, choking and convulsing on the floor of a hospital near Damascus. The opposition called it the evidence of a chemical attack.

Read more
Middle East
3:01 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

For Arab World's Christians, An Uncertain Fate

The Amir Tadros Coptic Church in Minya, Egypt, was set ablaze on Aug. 14.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 3:16 pm

As Egypt plunges into unrest amid the military-backed government's crackdown on demonstrators, the country's Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic extremists.

Dozens of churches have been burned, ransacked and looted since the government began fighting against supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohammed Morsi two weeks ago.

Read more
Books
2:52 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

'Heart' Of Iranian Identity Reimagined For A New Generation

In "The Nightmare of Siavosh," the young exiled Iranian prince dreams of his impending demise. Upon waking, he tells his wife, Farigis, about his fears regarding the tragic events to come.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:14 am

A thousand years ago, a Persian poet named Abolqasem Ferdowsi of Tous obtained a royal commission to put the ancient legends and myths of Iran into a book of verse.

He called this epic Shahnameh, or "Epic of the Persian Kings." It took him more than three decades and comprises 60,000 couplets — twice the length of The Iliad and The Odyssey combined.

Author Azar Nafisi, who wrote the memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran, says the importance of this foundational myth epic to Iranians can't really be overstated.

Read more
Middle East
6:04 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Evidence Points To Chemical Weapon Use In Syria

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 9:22 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You heard him mention his concerns about a possible chemical weapons attack last week outside Damascus. U.N. inspectors are being allowed to visit the sites in question tomorrow. Gary Samore worked in the Obama White House as the coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction. He explains that once inspectors arrive on site, they'll work to figure out what substance was used.

Read more
Middle East
6:04 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Tens Of Thousands Flee Syria After Alleged Chemical Attacks

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 9:22 am

Thousands of Syrian refugees entered Iraq last week, fleeing the violence between extremist groups and Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Alan Paul of the charity Save the Children about the flow of refugees entering Iraq.

Parallels
12:29 pm
Sat August 24, 2013

After 'Night From Hell,' People Of Damascus Ask: Are We Safe?

Men wearing masks walk along a deserted street that was hit by what activists said was a gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Ain Tarma on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 8:32 am

The writer is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.

Damascenes are shedding tears for the fallen and expressing fear and confusion in the aftermath of what could prove to be one of the worst chemical attacks in recent years. Residents are left unsure of how to protect their health in the wake of the incident.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:44 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Tons Of Molten Glass Go Into Making Mirror For Giant Telescope

An artist's concept of the completed Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
Giant Magellan Telescope

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 2:08 pm

Technicians on Saturday are set to cast 20 tons of glass for the third of seven ultra-precise primary mirrors that will make up the 72-foot Giant Magellan Telescope, scheduled for completion in northern Chile's arid Atacama Desert in 2020.

The parabolic mirror will be cast at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The molten borosilicate, made by the Ohara Corporation, will be spun cast at 2140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:41 am
Sat August 24, 2013

U.S. Weighs Options On Syria After Reported Chemical Attack

Female rebel fighters gather in Syria's northern city of Aleppo on Saturday to protest what they claim was a chemical attack by pro-government forces in a suburb of Damascus.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 2:29 pm

(This post last updated at 4:20 p.m. ET)

President Obama has been meeting with his national security team to discuss reports of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons, a White House official said Saturday, amid strong hints that a U.S. military strike was on the table.

Read more
Asia
5:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Corruption Trial Begins For China's Bo Xilai

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The trial of a former high-flying Chinese politician began this week. Bo Xilai is accused of corruption, bribery and stealing millions of dollars, and the possible implications for China's leadership could be huge. We're joined now by Cheng Li. He's the director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Thanks very much for being with us, Mr. Cheng.

CHENG LI: Thank you for having me.

Read more
Digital Life
5:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

A Tiny Island Finally Connects To The World Wide Web

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 5:27 pm

Sandwiched between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, the island of Idjwi had no Internet access until last month. Host Scott Simon speaks with Jacques Sebisaho, a doctor and native of Idjwi Island, about how the community has responded to the Internet.

Middle East
5:55 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Military Rides Wave Of Public Support In Egypt

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Egypt continues to grapple with fallout from the military overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July. President Morsi was propelled to electoral power through the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, the organization is under intense pressure as security forces arrest its members. Many hundreds have been killed in a security crackdown and a political solution seems all but impossible. And some fear that Egypt is returning to a military state. NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

Read more
Planet Money
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Cash, Cows And The Rise Of Nerd Philanthropy

A family in western Kenya received this cow as part of a Heifer International program.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

For more of our reporting on this story, please see our recent column in the New York Times Magazine, and the latest episode of This American Life.

Read more
Asia
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Corruption Trial Not Working Out As Communist Party Had Hoped

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

China's Communist Party had hoped a high profile corruption trial this week would send a message that the party punishes its own and operates under the rule of law. But so far, the trail of former Politburo member Bo Xilai hasn't quite worked out that way. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on how China's biggest case in decades is toying with the expectations of the millions of people following the trial.

Read more
Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Did Publicizing The Terror Alert In Yemen Help?

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

The partial reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, which was the focus of a recent terror alert, suggests that the immediate threat of a terrorist attack has passed. Officials cannot be certain whether the alert disrupted planning for a possible attack, whether the threat was a bluff or whether the intelligence that led to the alert was flawed. The issuance of warnings is a specialty within the intelligence community, but the recent episode underscores how much uncertainty surrounds the field.

Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Former Ambassador: Syria Will Fight No Matter What U.S. Does

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. There are growing calls for international military action if it's proved that Syria used chemical weapons in an attack this week that's believed to have killed more than 1,000 people. Britain, France and Turkey are among those calling for a forceful response. In an interview today on CNN, President Obama sounded a cautious note.

Read more
Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama Still Wary Of U.S. Military Intervention In Syria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama continued his back-to-school bus tour today, visiting college campuses in New York and Pennsylvania. Back here in Washington, D.C., administration officials wrestled with how the U.S. should respond to this week's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Obama says Wednesday's attack around Damascus, if verified, raises grave concern and could threaten core national interests of the United States.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

U.S. Soldier Sentenced To Life In Afghan Village Attacks

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seen in a courtroom sketch earlier this week, as prosecutor Lt. Col. Jay Morse, right, speaks to the jury. Bales was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday.
Peter Millett AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:14 pm

A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:04 am
Fri August 23, 2013

A Glimpse Of Syria's 1 Million Child Refugees

Syrian-Kurdish children sit on a bed at the Quru Gusik refugee camp in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on Aug. 22. Faced with brutal violence and soaring prices, thousands of Syrian Kurds have poured into Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. UNICEF has reported that over one million Syrian children live as refugees in other countries.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:04 pm

Syria's war has reached another grim milestone: Two United Nations agencies announced Friday that 1 million Syrian children have now fled their homeland in an uprising and civil war that's well into its third year.

The accompanying slide show provides a glimpse of some of these children and the conditions they are living in.

Read more
Race
10:19 am
Fri August 23, 2013

What Do Asian-Americans Owe The Civil Rights Movement?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, for some music fans, Robin Thicke's megahit "Blurred Lines" sounds distinctly familiar, kind of like an old Marvin Gaye song. The Barbershop guys step to the mic with their verdict. That's ahead. But first, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington has given the nation an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King and the movement that he helped to shape.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Police Say One Arrest Made In Gang Rape Of Photojournalist In India

Police officers on Friday inspect the site where a woman in her early 20s was allegedly gang raped in Mumbai, India.
Rafiq Maqbool AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:17 am

Authorities in India say they've arrested one man and identified four others in the alleged gang rape of a young photojournalist, apparently the latest victim in a series of recent sexual assaults that have shaken the country.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that the woman, in her early 20s, and a male colleague were doing a photo shoot of old buildings in south Mumbai when the incident took place early Thursday evening local time.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:42 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Koreas Reportedly Agree To Resume Family Reunions

North Korean delegate Pak Yong-Il crosses the military demarcation line with South Korea for a meeting on family reunions as North Korean soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom on Friday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:04 pm

North and South Korea have reportedly agreed to resume reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, picking up from where the emotional meetings left off when they were suspended three years ago.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:33 am
Fri August 23, 2013

After Wild Start, Silence From Bo Xilai Corruption Trial

Bo Xilai, in white shirt, on Thursday during his trial on corruption charges at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in China's Shandong Province.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 11:19 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn on the trial of Bo Xilai

Chinese authorities clamped down Friday on information coming out of the high-profile corruption trial of one-time rising political star Bo Xilai.

As NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported on Morning Edition, during Thursday's opening day in court Bo appeared to run circles around the judges and prosecutors. He denied any guilt, claimed a confession he gave had been coerced and called the testimony of his own wife "laughable."

Read more
The Two-Way
4:46 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama: Time Frame For Possible Action On Syria Has Shortened

Syrian activists — many wearing gas masks — looked for victims and evidence Thursday in an area near Damascus where government forces allegedly used chemical weapons.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:05 pm

While the U.S. and its allies cannot move militarily against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence" that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, the time within which a decision about such action must be made has been shortened, President Obama tells CNN.

Read more
World
4:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Dentist Aims To Clone Former Beatle John Lennon

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

A Canadian dentist bought one of John Lennon's molars at auction for $31,000. And now, Michael Zuk plans to use the tooth to clone the former Beatle. The DNA sequencing is already underway. But cloning technology is not quite there yet, so Zuk is biding his time in other ways. He released a parody song called "Love Me Tooth," as in...

(Singing) Love, love me tooth.

Sorry, I just did that. What would John Lennon think of all of this? Probably just say, let it be.

Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Mubarak's Release From Prison Cuts Across Egypt's Divisions

Security forces and medics wheel a stretcher transporting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from a military helicopter into an ambulance at a Cairo military hospital after his release from prison Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:07 pm

In Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to get supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi back into the streets.

But the military appears to be consolidating its power.

There were signs of Egypt's shifting fortunes on Thursday when former President Hosni Mubarak was flown from jail to house arrest in a hospital. A few dozen people celebrated outside the prison as Mubarak, 85, was ferried away by helicopter.

Read more
Middle East
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Week In Review: The Latest On Egypt And Syria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Mubarak's move to house arrest was just one development in a tumultuous week in the Middle East. The civil war in Syria also took a stunning turn. It appears chemical weapons were used in an attack on a rebel area on a far larger scale than anything that's been alleged before.

To reflect on the state of the region we called Shadee Hameed. He's an analyst with the Brookings Center in Doha and a frequent guest on our program. Good morning.

SHADI HAMID: Hi. Thanks for having me.

Read more

Pages